Ransomware Can Hit Small Businesses Big Time

You run a small business. Great. Keep strong. Among all of your challenges and concerns, ignoring data protection simply isn’t an option. As small a company, you’re still a potential target for the “big business” of ransomware, that is having your PC files hijacked by ransom seekers, digital pirates, cyber criminals. A failure to protect against this cyber threat could actually cause you to be out of business.

When businesses are hit with ransomware, it’s not just the ransom amount that could financially hurt. The time spent trying to get systems back online and potential revenue lost in the meantime makes a lasting impact, too. When it’s about a small business like yours, the consequences are usually even more devastating.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that prevents the victims from accessing their documents, pictures, databases and other files by encrypting them and demanding a ransom to decrypt them back. A deadline is assigned for the ransom payment, and if the deadline passes, the ransom demand doubles or files are permanently locked. Ransomware is an ever-increasing threat worldwide, claiming a new victim every 10 seconds.

Major cyberattacks like Bad Rabbit, WannaCry and Petya have put ransomware top of mind for businesses. But smaller, more targeted ransomware attacks can also do considerable damage to small businesses.

Ransomware hit one third of small-to-medium businesses worldwide last year, and experts say the “human factor” was often to blame. According to a recent report from Osterman Research — conducted among more than 1,000 small and medium businesses – about 22% of small and medium-sized businesses that experienced a ransomware attack in the last year had to stop business operations immediately. About 15% lost revenue. On average, small companies lost over $100,000 per ransomware incident due to downtime. For one in six organizations, these attacks caused 25 hours or more of downtime.

“Despite the big numbers, it’s small users who may be suffering the most. There’s reason to believe that small businesses are among the primary targets – perhaps even more than big businesses – of ransomware hackers. According to one study, the average payment demanded by hackers for releasing a system was $679 – an amount that seems paltry, almost, except when you put it in context with who the victims of these demands really are,” Info Security Magazine wrote.

While most small business owners believe that they are more or less immune to ransomware, the truth is that hackers are far less selective in their targets. Another study showed that 43% of all cyberattacks, especially ransomware attacks, targeted small businesses. Given the fact that most companies, large and small, pay off the hackers, there’s no reason to believe that things will change.

Once an attack occurs, it’s usually too late. However, we know that small businesses need cost-effective security that provides robust protections and ease of use. ZoneAlarm by Check Point brings its long-standing history of security expertise to a range of solutions optimized for the unique demands of small businesses.

This means you must protect your PCs with the top technology to keep hackers away from you data. That’s where ZoneAlarm steps in. ZoneAlarm provides Check Point’s enterprise-grade technology tailored to your PCs. You gotta protect your PCs with the same award-winning technology that protects the world’s largest banks, governments and organizations.

ZoneAlarm Anti-Ransomware was considered “the most effective ransomware-specific security tool we’ve seen” as well as Editor’s Choice for ransomware protection, according to PC Magazine. Read more here.

In a recent review, PCMag.com’s lead analyst for security, Neil J. Rubenking, labeled ZoneAlarm Anti-Ransomware “a clear winner” among those he evaluated, adding that “it fixed all changes made by the ransomware processes, including wiping out ransom notes that some other products leave behind.” As part of the review process, Rubenking ran a series of tests involving real-life, live ransomware. Overall, he tested the anti-ransomware with six samples, describing its performance as a “truly impressive showing.”

Don’t let cybercriminals take advantage of your hard work – take steps now to protect your business now. Don’t fall victim! Ransom-proof your PCs with ZoneAlarm.

 

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